Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Reading -- Not So Fundamental After All

Hey, so remember that auction I was touting? The one that would benefit the charity Reading is Fundamental? The one that had lots of sexy but inoffensive goodies in one gift basket?

Maybe you can guess what happened.

If you guessed that we made a bijillion dollars and subsequently allowed every child to get the reading help he or she needed, you would, alas, be incorrect. If you guessed that Reading is Fundamental felt a strange tingling in their genitals at the mere thought of sexually related merchandise associated with their name, you'd be on the right track. So objectionable did they find our auction -- where the bidding had gotten up to more than $140 -- that they asked eBay to cancel it.

I ran on at length about this on my podcast, Four Minutes, Once a Week, so I'm a bit out of steam, but because I'm committed to recording all these sorts of rejections from the morally upright, uptight segments of society, I'm putting the details here for posterity.

With just three days left to go of its 10-day run, the auction was abruptly terminated by eBay because Reading is Fundamental didn't want its name associated with it. That's their right, of course, but this rejection is particularly galling because I have hosted auctions before and given the proceeds to Reading is Fundamental. Why was this one different? Did the 10-day run just give them more time to actually look at the auction details? Or was the addition of other vendors a sore point for them on this one? (My previous auctions have just been for Quickies from Custom Erotica Source. This one offered a Quickie, artisan chocolate, The Sex LIves of Wives by Holly Hollenbeck, a kit of sensual goodies from Babeland, and erotic stories on CD from Sounds Erotic.)

What kind of world do we live in where a charity can be so independent, so caught up in its image, that it can pick and choose where its donations come from?

You can bet I'll not be sending any more money in Reading is Fundamental's direction. They didn't even have the courtesy to reply to my message when I questioned them about ending the auction. Not only is my money dirty, they don't feel I'm worthy of a courteous response.

If any of you know of organizations who do what Reading is Fundamental does to further the cause of teaching kids to read, please let me know, because that's where I'll funnel auction proceeds in the future.

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